Middle East News: World Press Roundup

President Obama is scheduled to meet Tuesday with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas at the UN, and Laura Rozen in Politico examines the stakes for all parties. Hamas leaders attack President Abbas’ legitimacy as the representative of the Palestinian people. A Washington Post op-ed by Steven Walt argues that Israel's government is not interested in a two-state agreement, while another by Jackson Diehl suggests the war in Gaza was actually a "success" for Israel. Israeli shelling leaves two Palestinians dead and three others injured in the northern Gaza Strip, while Israel also bombs smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza. Text messaging helps Palestinians combat unemployment in the West Bank. Raghida Dergham argues that President Obama's domestic problems are playing into the hands of Israel and Iran.

Obama to Meet With Mideast Leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - September 20, 2009 - 12:00am

After a frustrating week of shuttle diplomacy here in which the Obama administration failed to persuade Israelis and Palestinians to renew peace talks, leaders of the two sides are heading to the United States to make their cases again that the administration should push the other harder.

Why Israelis and Palestinians will meet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen - September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

A day after U.S. special envoy George Mitchell left Israel with no deal on a resumption of peace talks in the region, the White House announced Saturday that President Barack Obama will meet Tuesday in New York with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. That meeting will be immediately preceded by separate meetings between Obama and each leader, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Little hope of breakthrough at Mideast meet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Yana Dlugy - September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli and Palestinian leaders headed on Monday for a summit with US President Barack Obama, with both sides sceptical the "photo-op" encounter will lead to a resumption of stalled peace talks. The US leader is to hold a three-way meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. It will mark Netanyahu's first meeting with Abbas since the hawkish premier was sworn into office nearly six months ago.

Obama convenes talks to break Mideast impasse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Harvey Morris - September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Barack Obama, US president, will host a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in New York tomorrow, seeking to break the Middle East stalemate after a troubled week for US diplomacy in the region. A weekend statement from the White House that Mr Obama would chair a joint session with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, came after the failure of both sides to budge on the issue of Israeli settlement activity had threatened to scupper the encounter.

Can Hamas spoil Obama's three-way Mideast summit?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - September 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh slammed the Obama administration's plan to meet Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying that Palestinians will reject anything Mr. Abbas agrees to during discussions on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. His comments come one day after militants in Gaza fired two rockets into Israel and as a flare up in violence along the Gaza border left two militants dead.

Settling for Failure in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Stephen Walt - (Opinion) September 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Like so many of his predecessors, President Obama is quickly discovering that persuading Israel to change course is nearly impossible.

Israel's Gaza Vindication
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jackson Diehl - (Opinion) September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

When it was launched last December, Israel's invasion of the Gaza Strip looked to most people in Washington to be risky, counterproductive and doomed to futility. Not only pundits like me but senior officials of the Bush administration predicted that the Israeli army would not succeed either in toppling Gaza's Hamas government or in eliminating its capacity to launch missiles at Israeli cities. Instead it would subject the Jewish state to another tidal wave of international opprobrium and risk its relations with West Bank Palestinians and Egypt.

Israeli shelling leaves two dead in northern Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Two men were killed and three others injured after Israel's military shelled targets in northern Gaza on Sunday evening, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources. The two slain Palestinians were later identified by medics as Abdel Hafez As-Silawi, 21, and Muhammad Nasir, also in his 20s. According to Dr Mu'awiyah Hassanein, the head of emergency and ambulance services in Gaza's Health Ministry, As-Silawi's body arrived at Kamal Adwan Hospital along with another three wounded, one critically.

Aide: Netanyahu will defend settlement growth at Obama summit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will defend the expansion of West Bank settlements when he meets U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, the premier's spokesman said Monday. "You have never heard the prime minister say he would freeze settlement building. The opposite is true," Nir Hefetz told Army Radio when asked about the tripartite summit, which will take place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Akiva Eldar / A summit can be a very dangerous thing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

The all-too-long history of the "peace process" has taught us that a summit can be a desirable goal, but also a place of unsurpassable danger. When participants come with insufficient preparation, and without a safety net, the depth of the fall can be as high as the summit itself. There is a great difference between a fruitless round of shuttle diplomacy between Jerusalem and Ramallah on the part of a presidential envoy and a failed summit called by U.S. President Barack Obama with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Commentary: Middle East tunnel vision
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
by Arnaud De Borchgrave - (Editorial) September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

The only bank this Rothschild ever owned was the West Bank. Danny Rothschild, an Israeli general and onetime coordinator of all government activities in the occupied territories, and now one of 1,200 former intelligence officers in Israel's Council for Peace and Security, says the Palestinians should be allowed to have their capital in Arab East Jerusalem. The very thought of allowing Palestinians to set up a government where 200,000 Israeli settlers moved in since the 1967 war, when Israeli forces "liberated" East Jerusalem from Jordanian rule, is sacrilegious.

IDF bombs Gaza smuggling tunnels
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Air Force jets attacked three smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip late Sunday night, and hits were identified. The IDF Spokesperson's Office stated that the bombing was retaliation for the Qassam rocket fire from Gaza towards southern Israel Saturday night. The bombing was a conclusion to 24 hours of tension at the Gazan border. On Sunday afternoon two Palestinians were killed and four injured from IDF fire near the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya.

Jerusalem Diary: Monday 21 September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Tim Franks - September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

It's one of the grandest geo-political entities of them all, every word capitalised … The Middle East Peace Process. But its current progress, or signal lack of it, has been hanging on something rather more lower case - whether Israel is prepared, for a few months, to stop giving out new permits for construction in West Bank settlements. Dani Dayan believes it's not so much mundane as barmy. He's the Chairman of the Settlers' Council. "Two pandemics are running wild all over the world," he says. "The first is swine flu, the second is 'settlement psychosis'."

Text messaging helps young Palestinians find work
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

A non-profit group in the occupied West Bank has started a scheme that uses mobile phone text messaging to help young Palestinians find work. The group, based in Ramallah, has already registered 8,000 Palestinians on its Souktel system, most of them recent graduates. The system connects them to about 150 leading employers who are looking for staff. Internet access in the West Bank remains low, reaching about one-third of the population. Most computer use is at internet cafes, which are largely male-dominated domains in what is still a conservative society.

Iran and Israel are benefitting from a weakening Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Blog) September 18, 2009 - 12:00am

Presidents and Prime Ministers are flocking to the United Nations this week, some of them full of expectations, some burdened with depression and others less enthusiastic about meeting US President Barack Obama, after his international flame has waned as a result of internal battles that were waged against him or that he provoked, weighing him down.

Fatah: Presidential Decree on Election Date by Oct 25
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Asharq Al-Awsat- High-level sources in Fatah have asserted to Asharq Al-Awsat that a final decision has been made on a presidential decree [related to the upcoming elections] by the Palestinian president to be issued before 25 October, as Asharq Al-Awsat had reported earlier.

To show determination
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

It is no surprise that the US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, left the region empty handed after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A series of meetings were held between the two over the past few days in an effort to convince the Israeli premier that the Israeli settlement activity must end immediately. Netanyahu did not budge; his promises came short of the minimum demands of the Arab side and the rest of the international community, including, of course, the US.

Gaza: Goldstone’s report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) September 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Is there no limit to the wiles of those dastardly anti-Semites? Now they have decided to slander the Jews with another blood libel. Not the old accusation of slaughtering Christian children to use their blood for baking Passover matzoth, as in the past, but of the mass slaughter of women and children in Gaza.

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